PlayStation May Still Get Some Call Of Duty Games After Microsoft Takeover

Amid the news that Microsoft wants to buy Activision Blizzard, one topic that's been generating a lot of interest is the future of Call of Duty, one of the biggest gaming franchises around. With this acquisition in the pipeline, there has been some concern that Call of Duty will be exclusive to Xbox and PC going forward. While that may eventually happen, a new report claims it won't be for a while yet.

A new report from Bloomberg's Jason Schreier claims Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation platforms for years to come. According to four unnamed sources with knowledge of agreements between Activision and Sony, the next three Call of Duty games will still appear on PlayStation consoles even if Microsoft's Activision Blizzard acquisition goes through.

Specifically, the games this agreement allegedly covers include the next two mainline Call of Duty titles scheduled for release in 2022 and 2023, along with a "new iteration" of the free-to-play battle royale game Warzone. While we don't have an expected release date for that Warzone follow-up, Schreier claims Microsoft is committed to releasing Call of Duty games on PlayStation for "at least the next two years," suggesting it'll be out sometime before the end of 2023.

While there has been some question about whether Microsoft will continue releasing certain Activision Blizzard games on PlayStation platforms, Microsoft has already committed to honoring any deals PlayStation and Activision Blizzard have in place. Last week, Spencer published a tweet in which he said, "Had good calls this week with leaders at Sony. I confirmed our intent to honor all existing agreements upon acquisition of Activision Blizzard and our desire to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation. Sony is an important part of our industry, and we value our relationship."

So, assuming PlayStation and Activision Blizzard have already hammered out an agreement guaranteeing the next three Call of Duty releases on Sony's platforms, Microsoft will honor that. Once we're beyond those agreements, however, what Microsoft chooses to do with the Call of Duty franchise is anyone's guess.

Although there's been some speculation that Microsoft may continue putting Activision Blizzard's biggest games on PlayStation because of those titles' earnings potential, Microsoft doesn't seem likely to do that. There was similar speculation when Microsoft announced that it was buying Bethesda and the other ZeniMax Media subsidiaries, only for Xbox boss Phil Spencer to confirm that Bethesda's games would be exclusive to "platforms where Game Pass exists" after the deal closed.

Microsoft could very well use Call of Duty as a bargaining chip to get Xbox Game Pass on PlayStation consoles, but barring that, it seems unlikely Microsoft would continue with multiplatform releases for any of Activision Blizzard's franchises. Of course, we're not privy to talks that are happening behind closed doors, so there's always a chance that Microsoft will surprise us once the Activision Blizzard acquisition closes. Still, for now, if you're a Call of Duty fan who prefers PlayStation, it's probably best not to get your hopes up.